Reporting Pete Medhurst
Maryland vs. Connecticut
The Maryland Terrapins have been the early surprise in the ACC. Randy Edsall’s squad has a 2-0 record after surprise win over Temple and a lackluster 7-6 win against William & Mary in the season opener.
Maryland is on the cusp of a 3-0, but must first get past UConn on Saturday at Byrd Stadium.
Matt Robinson returns in the Terp secondary this week and Edsall is hopeful Kenny Tate will be ready in time to face West Virginia on the road next week
The question this week is whether the offense will be aided by UConn as they were against Temple or if it will it will be a repeat of their performance against The Tribe when they could not sustain a drive.
The Huskies lost to N.C. State 10-7 last week. First one to 17 wins this one.
Pick: Maryland 17 – UConn 9
Virginia Tech at Pitt
A few Years ago, Virginia Tech at Pitt meant big things in the Big East. Now, they are soon to be partners in the ACC.
Tech has blossomed while Pitt has experienced a coaching carousel while trying to reclaim glory of years past.
Tech is too tough right now.
Pick: Virginia Tech 31 – Pitt 13
Virginia at Georgia Tech
Virginia narrowly defeated Penn State last Saturday, etching out a 17-16 win. Georgia Tech rebounded from a loss to Virginia Tech, but now faces a make or break game in ACC play.
Mike London got Phillip Sims some snaps last week, but it was Mike Rocco who led the Cavaliers on a late drive to victory.
Georgia Tech’s defense surprised me against Tech and UVa battled turnovers last week.
This will be a close game, but I actually trust Rocco late to come through again. I love the triple-option, but…
Pick: UVa. 24 – Georgia Tech 21
Navy at Penn State
Navy travels to Penn State and plays a winless Nittany Lions club that has fallen to Ohio and Virginia in its first two games.
Matt McGloin has done and adequate job of directing Bill O’Brien’s pro-style offense. They deserved to win last week, but couldn’t finish drives and watched their kicker go 1-5 and miss a PAT.
Navy is coming off a 50-10 drubbing from Notre Dame, but has had a week off to prepare and get healthy.
Quarterback Trey Miller went 14-for-19 against the Irish. And while Navy is hoping they don’t have to throw it 19 times a game, they are excited about Miller’s ability to keep plays alive.
Navy welcomes back starting wide receiver Brandon Turner this week. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound senior returns to the lineup and could pose a threat with Shawn Lynch and Casey Bolena.
The question for Navy is whether their defense will be able to hold Penn State on third down. The Nittany Lions are missing a tackle, wide receiver and two running backs they expected to have this year which could make it a little easier for the Midshipmen.
This should be a thriller.
Call me a homer…
Pick: Navy 24 – Penn State 23
Elsewhere, West Virginia hosts James Madison at FedEx Field on “Sam Huff Appreciation Day,” Yale is at Georgetown and Howard Travels to Norfolk State.
Nationally, Notre Dame will have a chance to show people they are for real traveling to Michigan State. Brian Kelly tabbed Tommy Rees off the bench to lead a late drive to beat Purdue. The Irish defense up front is for real.
Pick: Notre Dame 27 – Michigan State 17
Arkansas with no Tyler Wilson has no chance vs. Alabama.
Pick: Alabama 41 – Arkansas 13
USC travels to face the Stanford Cardinal who were life and death with San Jose State in week one. The Trojans know they can’t slip up here and won’t.
Pick: USC 27 – Stanford 10
The big game in the SEC features Tennessee hosting Florida. Derek Dooley has little time to get the Vol’s going and this is a key game to his long-term job security. They have more offense than Florida…
Pick: Tennessee 24 – Florida 16